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FlingernAttic PR1 byKikiLempaInterview with

T.R. Lily (Bass Guitar, E-Drums, Vocals) & M.D. Ramone (Guitar, Synths, Vocals) from Flingern Attic

Düsseldorf is known as one of the most important cities for electronic music. KRAFTWERK, DAF, RHEINGOLD, FEHLFARBEN - the list of influential artists of the Düsseldorf scene is long. I was very happy to discover FLINGERN ATTIC, a new band from Düsseldorf. T.R. Lily and M.D. Ramone founded the project in 2019. In their music, the two combine their preferences for electronic and guitar-driven music. As the name of the band suggests, T.R. Lily and M.D. Ramone both come from the Düsseldorf district of Flingern. Now they have their new EP ‘New Musick’ at the start, which of course was created in Düsseldorf - in an attic in Flingern. So, I met them both in Flingern, where it all started, for an interview.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: In 2019, you founded the band FLINGERN ATTIC together. How did that come about?
M.D. Ramone: We were at the E-tropolis Festival and realised that what we heard there was not what we had experienced at concerts when we were young. I mean situations when someone is on stage and only uses playback - like karaoke - and there are two people with guitar and keyboard that are not plugged in. For us, it has always been important that when a band plays, no matter how good they are, they’re standing up there and they’re really playing live. And that’s when we said: We can do that ourselves! I had a couple of bands before, but we hadn’t worked together so far. Anyway, we both realised at that festival that we have a common musical denominator and common musical preferences coming from our youth. We have known each other for a very long time and always agreed on our taste of music on our youth. So, we said, let’s try this out. And so, we started the band together.

RoD: What connects you with the Düsseldorf district of Flingern, after which you named your band?
M.D. Ramone: I spent more than half of my life here. Düsseldorf is actually Flingern for me. It’s home. That’s where the band name comes from. “Attic” comes from the fact that we both live on the top floor, in the attic, and that’s where my studio is, too.
T.R. Lily: We both love the view you have from above. Seeing everything, looking down from above and seeing what’s going on in the city. To be in the middle of it all, but still have a bit of distance. And we both lived in Flingern for many years, even without having contact with each other. We’ve known each other for many years, but lost track of each other for a while. Nevertheless, we both have always been in Flingern and met here again.

flingernattic newmusick

RoD: Düsseldorf is considered as one of the most important cities for electronic music. Which artists and places have influenced you here?
M.D. Ramone: KRAFTWERK was always one of the most important bands for me, and RHEINGOLD, of course. But international bands have also influenced us. Actually, it had always been the combination of KRAFTWERK and RAMONES for me. I was never punk or goth or something, I was always dark punk. I was always the one dancing around in the Düsseldorf club Line Light with my RAMONES shirt and the corresponding hairstyle. And with pikes, of course! And FEHLFARBEN have always been a big influence. We saw them live again last autumn, here in Düsseldorf at the Ratinger Hof. That’s always been a totally important location in the Düsseldorf scene, a recurring point, also for us. Just like ZAKK or the Mitsubishi Electric Hall, former Philipshalle.
T.R. Lily: For me, it’s exactly these three locations in Düsseldorf where you say that as a Düsseldorf band you have to have played there. That’s the order I would put them in for us (laughs). But I definitely think that being on stage at the Ratinger Hof is a different thing than playing somewhere else where you have no personal connection.

RoD: In which formation will you perform on stage? Do you have a band around you?
M.D. Ramone: Yes, we have musicians who play with us and support us with guitar, for example, when I sing. So, two people will join us. We definitely want to keep the live character, even if everything is not always perfect. I actually really like the imperfect. For example, we are both big JOY DIVISION fans, even with them it didn’t always sound perfect. On the contrary, that made it so special. And that’s exactly what I like. Nowadays, a lot of things sound very smooth and standardised. That’s not my thing at all, when people play their standard programme without claim and without risk.

RoD: How do your songs come about? Who of you gives what influences?
T.R. Lily: In general, I can say that we both have our own focus, and we complement each other well. He is responsible for the melodies, the “melody maker”, and I am the rhythm section.
M.D. Ramone: Most of the time it works like this: I play my ideas on the guitar first and do the arrangement, and then she comes in and brings her ideas and her parts. We also discuss it a lot. With the lyrics it’s sometimes more critical, there are discussions more often, because of course everyone thinks about what they write about. So usually each of us writes very own lyrics, because of course everyone has their own topics in mind. But in the end, we always come to a good result. As far as recording is concerned, we record everything organically and in one piece. So that it keeps the “live” character and remains real. We don’t piece it together; I think you can always hear that. It shouldn’t sound sterile.
T.R. Lily: A song on which working together worked out very well, for example, is ‘Der Schein’. The first two lines came to me in the waiting room at the doctors. Don’t ask me why (laughs). I wrote down those two lines and that was the trigger. And then we continued writing it together and developed it further, also with the music.

FlingernAttic PR2 byKikiLempa

RoD: Where do you get the inspiration for your lyrics?
T.R. Lily: It actually comes from everyday situations and from what is important to us. It can be something I’m upset about or a special experience.
M.D. Ramone: The song ‘Collapsing Mind’, for example, I wrote fifteen years ago, and it’s topical again. It’s kind of spooky that you have the same emotions again today as you had back then. This paranoia. Or ‘2nd Coming’, which was also such a trigger, this sanctimonious Christianity and the idea that we are always the good guys. But there are also Christian fundamentalists, and many don’t even think about that fact. There are extremists everywhere. So, our texts are all topics that concern us. We couldn’t do “filler lyrics” just to write anything.
T.R. Lily: But I can tell you one more thing. We often listen to a programme on the radio in the evening that plays very strange songs. And often it’s about the moon. I noticed that we don’t have a song about that, although we both like the moon very much. And that’s how the ‘Mond Song’ came about. But we also realised that we don’t have a ballad or a love song!
M.D. Ramone: I can’t write love songs.
T.R. Lily: But most songs are written about love, actually.
M.D. Ramone. I just can’t. I tried it once, it was nothing, it just sounded like a boy band (laughs). Don’t ask me why, but I can’t write love songs. I never could.

RoD: You both have a musical background. What have you done so far?
T.R. Lily: My grandmother sang in the choir and took me with her. I sang in the children’s and youth choir, although that wasn’t really my wish at the time. But I did it for quite a long time and got around quite a lot, I saw a lot of cathedrals in the church choir. But as a teenager, it wasn’t really my thing any more. I wanted to play the piano and wished for one, but unfortunately, I never got one. Instead, I got such a Casio, which I couldn’t do anything with. So, I changed my orientation. When my father passed away and left me some money, I bought an electric drum kit and that’s how it all started. Little by little, percussion was added.
M.D. Ramone: My father was always very interested in technology, he still had these big tapes and computers, so I started with that - with the first sounds. He also had an organ, which I played as a child. Then I bought my first instruments with my own money, and at some point, I had my first synth. So more and more came along, guitar, bass and so on. I learned all that, but I can’t play the drums at all. I like everything with melody.

RoD: What does music mean to you?
M.D. Ramone: Music is my best therapist.
T.R. Lily: When I meet someone, I always want to know what music he or she listens to. I think it says a lot about the person. The worst answer for me is when someone says, “I don’t listen to anything in particular. Just what’s on the radio”. I can’t imagine that someone has no taste in music.
M.D. Ramone: Music is emotion. Music can be everything. For me, music has been a comforter of the soul. Everybody has their songs that they know I can sit down with and listen to in certain situations. I couldn’t live without music.

RoD: What are your plans with FLINGERN ATTIC? Can we look forward to live performances?
M.D. Ramone: We definitely want to perform live; I’m really looking forward to that. To this dynamic, our songs will sound even fatter live. Nothing is concrete at this point, but we’ll keep you posted!

RoD: I’m looking forward to it! Thank you very much for the interview!

Pictures: Kiki Lempa

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